The Buca del Corno and Stoppani Park
Entratico | Itinerari e percorsi
The abbot’s tale, the underground cavern and the beetle that is the only one of its kind in the world
“Anyway, all you need to know is that the Buca del Corno, too, offers its own little contribution to the chronicles of pre-History: carbonised remains – the evidence of primitive cooking, carved bones, even a fragment of a flintstone knife, coarse earthenware, all mixed in with a blackish and fertile topsoil: the typical rubbish of a truly primitive dwelling.” These are the words of Abbot Antonio Stoppani from 1875, in a description of the ancient and intriguing cave of Entratico, as recounted to his grandchildren.
The Buca del Corno, at a length of 385 metres, is the only cave of its type in Lombardy and one of the few in the entire region that is open to the public to visit. Once inside after the entrance tunnel there is the Sala della Cascata (Hall of the Cascade) and then that of the Vortice (Whirlpool). From here run two further underground passages, one of which crosses over water.
One of the inhabitants of the cave is an extremely rare beetle, Allegrettia Pavani, a unique species which has been studied by academics from Italy and Germany, and which shares this dark, damp environment with numerous other insects. You will be unlikely to come across one, though, as they are not very sociable. Nevertheless, during your visit to the Buca del Corno you can learn about the many other secrets of this ancient cave dating back to the Jurassic era, including the large number of fossils that have also been discovered here.
Among the ‘rooms’ of the Buca del Corno there is also the Room of the Altar, which was most probably used as a burial ground during the Iron Age, given the archaeological finds that have come to light and which are now on display in the Museo Archeologico di Bergamo (Archaeological Museum of Bergamo). In addition to its speleological significance, the cave is important because it is a perfect example of the karstic phenomenon. It functions as a living cross-section of a cave, helping us to see and understand what goes on underground.
Around the Buco del Corno today there is a park of around 6,000 square metres, which is ideal for spending the day in the open air after having journeyed to the underground depths of the mountains. Today named after the afore-mentioned abbot, Stoppani Park can be reached by taking CAI path number 629 from Trescore Balneario.
On the official website of the Buca del Corno one can explore the cave remotely in a 3D virtual tour before coming to experience its unique atmosphere in person. The history of the cave and both its speleological and landscape aspects are also illustrated in a series of panels that form part of the guided tour inside and outside the cave. In addition, there is an extremely detailed model of the structure of the cave in the Sala Civica del Comune di Entratico (Civic Hall at Entratico Town Hall).